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Archive for Saturday, July 28, 2007

Congress OKs 9/11 Commission proposals

July 28, 2007

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How they voted

Kansas Democrats Nancy Boyda and Dennis Moore and Republicans Jerry Moran and Todd Tiahrt all voted in favor of the 9/11 Commission Recommendations Act.

— Congress sent President Bush legislation Friday to intensify anti-terror efforts in the U.S., shifting money to high-risk states and cities and expanding screening of air and sea cargo to stave off future Sept. 11-style attacks.

The measure carries out major recommendations of the independent 9/11 Commission.

The bill, passed by the House on a 371-40 vote, ranks among the top accomplishments of the six-month-old Democratic Congress. The Senate approved the measure late Thursday by 85-8, and the White House said the president would sign the bill.

Nearly six years after the Sept. 11 attacks and three years after the 9/11 Commission made its recommendations, "Congress is finally embracing what the 9/11 families have been saying all along," said Homeland Security Committee Chairman Bennie Thompson, D-Miss. "It takes a willingness to do things a different way."

The bill elevates the importance of risk factors in determining which states and cities get federal security funds - that would mean more money for such cities as New York and Washington - and also puts money into a new program to assure that security officials at every level can communicate with each other.

It would require screening of all cargo on passenger planes within three years and sets a five-year goal of scanning all container ships for nuclear devices before they leave foreign ports.

Republicans generally backed the bill while stressing their own administration's success in stopping another major terrorist attack. The bill, said Rep. Peter King of New York, top Republican on the Homeland Security panel, "is another step in the right direction building on the steps of the previous 5 1/2 years."

"These efforts build upon the considerable progress we've made over the past six years," said White House spokesman Scott Stanzel.

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